F1 Race Stars is Codemasters' entry into the karting genre. It takes classic Formula 1 racing turns it into a fun caricature. It features real drivers like Hamilton and Alonso, and licensed teams.
With crazy tracks and power-ups, F1 Race Stars is a long way from the serious business of Formula 1. The tracks, spread around the globe, are great fun. In this demo you can race the German track, which takes in well known features of the whole country and makes a circuit out of them. The cartoon style looks really good, and the cars and drivers look the part too.
The biggest surprise in F1 Race Stars is the handling. Cars are fast and nimble, but there is no drifting. In keeping with F1, you have to brake and take the racing line to get through corners fastest. It's a huge change for karting games, and one that makes F1 Race Stars stand out. Some corners feature KERS, which builds a boost to let you accelerate our of the corner, but it will still take a while to get used to.
What F1 Race Stars gets right from the start is the general feeling. The drivers look fantastic, all recognizable and clearly loving caracatures of the real people. With weather and pitting, plus the cornering, it's clear that F1 Race Stars is made with a lot of respect for the sport, while still trying to be an accessible and fun game anyone can play.
With split-screen multiplayer, hugely inventive and fun tracks and great presentation, F1 Race Stars looks like an excellent and surprising karting game.